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Assessing the severity and rate of spread of an invasive forest pathogen in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: a case study in collaboration

Released: 2015
Citation:
Nesmith, J, B Bulaon, NL Stephenson, A Das, P Moore, J Battles, J Dudney, K Nydick, M Cahill. 2015. Assessing the severity and rate of spread of an invasive forest pathogen in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: a case study in collaboration. Science for Parks, Parks for Science:  The Next Century, a national summit organized by the University of California,  Berkeley, CA. 25-27 March 2015. [presentation]

White pine blister rust (WPBR), an exotic fungal pathogen, has contributed to dramatic population declines in several species of white pines. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (SEKI) have a rich composition of white pines that are potentially threatened. Although WPBR was first discovered in SEKI in 1969, it was not until the late 1990’s that a study was initiated to establish and quantify a baseline of the extent and severity of WPBR infection at SEKI. At the time, they found moderate rates of infection among sugar pine (19.9%), low infection among western white pine (4.8%), and no infection among foxtail, whitebark, or limber pines. Recent research indicates a dramatic change in incidence and severity of WPBR in SEKI among western white pine. After only 17 years, the number of plots with WPBR infections has more than doubled. In light of these findings, the NPS, USGS, USFS, and UC Berkeley have embarked on a collaborative effort to address critical information needs for management and conservation of these iconic species. Here, we discuss the importance of monitoring to detect environmental change, and the vital role of collaboration in achieving resource management goals.


This product is associated with the following project:
Climate and Fire in the Sierra Nevada

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